Tips for Your First Car Insurance Policy

Tips for Your First Car Insurance Policy

So you’ve graduated, you’ve moved out, and now you’re on your own.  There are a lot of “firsts” ahead of you and car insurance just so happens to be one of them. A little background knowledge can go a long way in helping you get the right coverage.  It might even save you some money along the way.

Let’s talk coverage!

What kind of coverage is right for you? Short answer: It depends.  There are many different types of coverage that make up an auto policy but, I want to focus on the main 3: Liability, Comprehensive, and Collision.

$-Liability coverage is a given, every vehicle on the road in the State of Michigan is required to have liability coverage.  You may be familiar with PLPD, which stands for personal liability property damage; this is the lowest form of coverage you can carry.

$$-Comprehensive coverage is the next step up, and has some definite advantages over liability. Comprehensive coverage is often referred to as “other than collision” because it covers “acts of god”, such as hitting a deer or a hail storm.

$$$-Collision coverage is the “biggy” because it covers the physical damage your vehicle in the event of an accident.

My rule of thumb is, if you can’t afford to fix or replace your car after an auto accident, then all 3 is the way to go (commonly called full coverage).   I always suggest discussing your concerns with an agent when picking coverage.  That’s what we are here for.

Let’s talk money!

It’s important to know right out of the gate, that insurance rates are determined on a very individualized basis.  You’re not going to be able to compare yourself to your friends or your co-workers.  It just doesn’t work like that. Where you live, what you drive, and your age, are just some of the factors that go into it.  People ask me all the time, “What’s a ball park number?”  To be honest, there’s no real answer to that, but there are some tips for keeping that number down.

  • When buying your first car, check out the insurance prices ahead of time.
  • Don’t let you policy lapse.  Letting a policy cancel can lead to much higher premiums.
  • Think about increasing your deductibles in order to save on your premium. 

Let’s talk discounts!

Every company is different when it comes to car insurance discounts and that is why it is important to talk with your agent about all the possibilities.  That being said, there are a few discounts that apply pretty much everywhere.

Multi Policy Discount

  • This is usually the big one.  Combining policies is almost always the best way to save the most money.  For young people, adding a renter’s policy is a great way to save money while increasing coverage.

Safety Credits

  • Some companies offer discounts for safety features built into your car.  These can include airbags, anti-lock brakes, and anti-theft systems.

Group Discount

  • Many companies offer “group” discounts.  Depending on your age, profession, community involvement, etc. you may be eligible for a group discount.  This is where building a relationship with your agent can really help.

Getting car insurance for the first time can seem like a daunting task but, with a little help from your agent and a little background knowledge, you can be assured that you’re properly covered.  I hope this gives you the information you need to start your car insurance search.   For more information regarding your first auto policy contact VAST at 906-228-7500.


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